Winterized

Succulents under the grow lights

I spend a lot of time showing you my garden and yard. Then comes the winter and it all gets shut down and put away. (Okay, I notice in these pictures I’ve not finished putting things away from the front porch.) It requires a lot of effort on my part to dump pots, and protect vines and move things about so that I can call in the professional yard service to do the “fall cleanup”. They always do more than I expect/want, in that they pull out all of my fencing. It annoys me but I’m also grateful that they do, because it WILL be easier to plant in the spring. After, that is, I go through the effort of putting back the metal fences that *I* consider to be permanent. The yard DOES look better without fences around barren lots.

Herbs and plants piled up on the porch – no pots sitting on anything still alive 🙂

Last winter was so warm that easily half of my planters came back to life when I moved them out to the front walk. I thought about buying a very small greenhouse to encourage that to happen again this winter. It turns out that there is more to a greenhouse than simply glass walls and roof. Until I figure out what I’d want to do for a heat source I’m going to pile up the planters on the front porch as I’ve always done. I’ve also decided against digging up my canna lilies this year. It was an interesting experiment last year, and it did work, but it also had some minor inconveniences. I find that this year I’m not as gung-ho to dig them up and prepare them to live in my basement coal bin. They’ll winter over in the ground or they (most likely) won’t.

I don’t know why the succulents seem to flower more once I bring them inside. You’d think that being outside with true sunlight all day would be more nourishing than 10 hours under a grow light. They’ve only been inside for a few weeks, and already several of them are putting up flowers. The palm trees always start out as if they will do okay, and then by spring they are in terrible condition and I end up buying new ones anyway. 🙂 This year I’m using 2 grow lights on them, and the lamps are positioned closer than in prior years. They may still fail because BC has decided that they are perfect for chewing. Now a greenhouse (with heat) would be the perfect place to store the palms!

The grow lamps cast a pink light in the photos, but not so much to the naked eye